I am meeting sometime this weekend with Dr. Mel Fish of Cedar City. I bought his books a few years back, have enjoyed them and felt impressed to write an essay about them. Since this blog is my personal gospel study journal, I like to involve the Lord in what I write. I knelt down to pray Sunday, told the Lord what I was going to write and asked for guidance, direction and inspiration.
Immediately, the impression came to my mind to contact Mel and ask to meet with him. The Lord knew Carol and I are going to St. George this weekend to visit family and do the annual Parade of Homes. I don’t know why we torture ourselves. Although we intend to move to St. George when we retire, we’ll never be able to afford any of the lovely homes we see on the tour.
Excommunicated for Priestcraft
So Monday morning I went to his website, dropped him a note and asked if he would be willing to meet. I made it clear my intention is to write a review of his books and his work. I also wrote that I wanted to ask about his relationship with the church since I read this website that asserted Mel Fish had been excommunicated. I was saddened to read it and found it hard to believe.
Within an hour Mel called me and said he would be delighted to meet. We agreed I would call him when I got into town to finalize our meeting day and time. I hope Mel is willing to allow me to record our interview as Jan Graf did so graciously many years ago. It will help so much when it comes time to write my essay. There are many similarities between what Jan and Mel teach.
Supported by the People
I wrote a couple of friends who know Mel and asked them what they thought about the website announcing Mel’s membership status with the church. One of them wrote back “Priestcraft? He never uses the priesthood in his professional counseling. There is a method he uses that works better. I don’t know anyone who knows the scriptures better and uses them daily.”
If you’re mystified by the idea of Priestcraft being an offense worthy of excommunication, the use of the word today is not exactly the same as we find in the Book of Mormon. In Alma 1 we read of Nehor who taught false doctrines of salvation and told the people that the preacher should be supported by the people. Gee, that sounds like what most ministers do for a living today.
A Doctorate in Counseling
In the modern LDS Church, the definition seems to be anyone who counsels people how to get rid of stress and other difficulties in their lives by applying the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now if you happen to have a Ph.D. in counseling and you charge people for your time, apparently it’s wrong to help them heal by dismissing darkness in the name of Jesus Christ.
I don’t know the whole story and you know I’m never going to get the whole story from the church. I don’t even know if Dr. Fish will tell me his story. He may want to focus solely on his books and how he has helped people in his practice over the years. That’s OK. My review of his work is going to be positive because it has helped me and has brought me closer to the Savior.
Delusional Master Deceiver
If you read the reviews on Amazon or GoodReads you’ll see that they’re all favorable. I can’t imagine why anyone would go to the trouble of creating a blog with a single entry just to make an announcement to the world that the author of these wonderful books “is either a delusional man or a master deceiver. …employing his methods are …destroying even the very elect.”
I’ve read his books. I’ve watched his video. I’ve employed his methods. I don’t feel deceived. I feel blessed. I feel closer to my Savior and filled with light because of what he has taught me. Oh, by the way, you can read a little about Mel on the church website. He has given a lifetime of service to a church he loves. I look forward to meeting him and learning more of his story.
Tell Me About Mel Fish
I’m writing this teaser blog entry to ask a favor of my readers. If anyone knows Mel Fish, or knows anyone who has been helped by Dr. Fish, please leave a note and add to the comments. If you want to keep your comments private, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have a list of questions I hope to ask him but if you share your experiences it would be very helpful.
Update 2-18-13: Thanks for all the private emails. I have added a report of my meeting with Mel in this new essay.
Update 3-28-13: As I first intended to do, I’ve finally added a review of Mel’s book, Healing the Inner Self in this essay.